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Old 23-02-2011, 11:14   #1
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Boom Tent

I am thinking about making or buying a boom tent. My marina manager thinks that polytarps are trashy, and I don't really disagree. Thanks, boss, for pulling me out of the gutter!

So, should I go with Sunbrella, Seafab boat duck (poly/cotton mix), Odyssey, or a canvas tarp from home depot?

I am tempted to go with the canvas tarp because the finished product costs less than the material for any of the other options.

What say ye?
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Old 23-02-2011, 11:23   #2
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Re: BOOM TENT

My wife is a seamstress and makes stuff out of Sunbrella all the time, so we'll be going with that. Partially because it's a common standard for sun resistant stuff, and partially because it will match the other canvas on our boat. There's enough stuff on our boat that's mismatched so if I can at least get the canvas all one color I'll be happy with that.

I don't know how high your boom is, but a common problem with the set up your talking about is how to keep the edges really high. On our last awning there were athwartship pvc poles running through sleeves that kept it more or less up high, and guy lines running down to the stanchions / life lines.

We're going to try a new approach by putting some much smaller pvc pipes in the fishing rod holders that are already on the stanchions, and then have the edges of the cover meet up with those, if that makes sense.

Tarps are also pretty noisy compared to canvas for whatever that's worth.
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Old 23-02-2011, 11:30   #3
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Re: BOOM TENT

I just put in an order with Seattle Tarp. I have to suggest them. Their quote for the finished product was less than retail for the material!

One 9'x9' Captain Navy Sunbrella square with a seam down the middle and hems.

$109

Unbelievable. Have to suggest Seattle Tarp. Ready in 7 working days.
Just for comparison, I had a quote from a local marine canvas shop for $310.

For the same thing!

They must just order stuff from Seattle Tarp and resell it!
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Old 23-02-2011, 12:07   #4
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Re: Boom Tent

If you are going to lay it across the boom with the main on, in a blow the MUCH more expensive sail & sail cover will get chafe damage. I know everybody does it. It is still doing damage if it jerks around on the main in a storm.

If you use a canvas tarp, be aware that many are WAXED, and in the hot sun, will be gooey / nasty.

If you go for a proper tarp, the amount of labor involved is such that it only makes sense to use the Sunbrella for longevity.

We made ours, so that it would be suspended above the boom, not lay on it, and divide around the mast and shroud wires. It also had to stand a nasty thunderstorm. The pro made version would have cost us so much, that we could easily rationalize the purchase of an $800 Sail Rite machine, for the project. It was money well spent!

Ours took 6 weeks, but for a simple version on a monohull, it would probably be a few days to a week. There are a LOT of plans / patterns out there to design from.

If the air passes under it well, and it is not trapped, a dark color is MUCH cooler than white, or toast, etc. The surface of a dark color being hotter, is not as much of a minus, as the more opaque material is a plus. The boat is more "in the shade"! I used a thermometer to compare, before buying our fabric...

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Old 23-02-2011, 14:18   #5
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Re: Boom Tent

Oh and just to add this that Pardey's have a nice little section that I want to say is just a 5'x5' square that they have one edge on the boom, and the other they position as needed to keep someone out of the sun. It's a poor man's bimini but can be moved around for other things, used underway, and is much cheaper. I'm sure a lot of that depends on your cockpit layout and boom configuration. The lower the better in this case I'd guess.
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Old 23-02-2011, 17:21   #6
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Re: Boom Tent

Stick to some sort of acrylic. Does not have to be Sunbrella.

But if I could afford everything in Sunbrella, I would use it throughout - the fabric delivers - some items on our boat are 8 years old now and going strong - I just replaced the stiches this year while the fabric performs and looks as new.

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Old 24-02-2011, 00:23   #7
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Re: Boom Tent

I went with sunbrella, from Seattle Tarp. 9x9 for only $109! WOW!

I am not planning on using the tarp during any storms! I live aboard on Lake Union, and the boom tent is for use while moored. I take my boom tent off to go sailing!

I can imagine having it up while at anchor, but would hesitate to leave it on the boom during stormy weather. It is basically a sail, after all.
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Old 24-02-2011, 02:51   #8
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Re: Boom Tent

We used sunbella and made one that is suspended below the mizzen boom ( can be used while sailing to provide shade), one that is suspended above the main boom, then made weather cloths. With our configuration an enclosure was going to be wildly expensive. This arrangement although not as good as an enclosure works pretty well. We are thinking of adding roll downs for more protection when needed.
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Old 24-02-2011, 04:18   #9
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Re: Boom Tent

Joanne sewed ours up out of Sunbrella and Mesh shade cloth. The solid Sunbrella is 60" wide in the center to keep rain out of the companionway, and the mesh makes shade, but allows air to circulate.
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Old 24-02-2011, 05:01   #10
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Re: Boom Tent

Had a boat with a boom gallows, really helped with set up /deployment of boom tent.
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Old 24-02-2011, 11:58   #11
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Re: Boom Tent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
If you are going to lay it across the boom with the main on, in a blow the MUCH more expensive sail & sail cover will get chafe damage. I know everybody does it. It is still doing damage if it jerks around on the main in a storm.

Mark
I can certainly confirm that. I made that mistake two summers ago. I put a poly tarp over the boom for shade, then forgot to take it down when I left to go home. I didn't get down to the boat again for nearly a month, during which time we had several windy days.

I was lucky in that only the sail cover was eaten, the wear never made it down to the sail itself. The bill for patching my sail cover was $120. And it looks like crap.

Next boom tent or awning I make will be secured to the shrouds and have an athwartship pole at the end secured to my split backstay. I will also put a hoist point on it and use the spare halyard to lift it up. I find Capngeo's idea intriguing. Combination of solid cloth and mesh.


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Old 24-02-2011, 12:19   #12
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Re: Boom Tent

Ditto, that last point.

The mesh, like dark "phifertex" is great for side curtains, or "some" of the portion of the tarp over the cabin, rather than the cockpit. It is only about 80% as much shade, but it allows more air movement. You can mix and match, and they don't all have to be connected together. They can be separate pieces. This is also easier to strike in a sudden storm.

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Old 26-02-2011, 12:21   #13
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Re: Boom Tent

Just an aside... this tent has been in place in 40Kt winds with no damage or wear on the boat. I have a roller furling boom, so often when using the tent I do not put the boom cover on.
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Old 26-02-2011, 12:30   #14
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Re: Boom Tent

Rebelheart, we lived on our Hans Christian 34t with a boom tent and windclothes for 5 years. It makes a nice cozy winter room with the hatch open for heat transfer. It was high enough without pipe (I'm 6'1" wife 5'11") and keeps most percipitation out of the cockpit. Ours is wheat sunbrella, light color helps in our dreary winters.
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Old 26-02-2011, 12:38   #15
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Re: Boom Tent

I made one out of green house shade material. Ordered from an agricluture supply house already to size at 9x12. It came with snap on plastic grommets. 4 adjustable bungies later I am good to go. It won't keep the rain out, but blocks 70% of the sun. Perfect for So Cal during the summer at Catalina. Out the door for about $50. No I don't look like the floating Clampets from Beverly Hills with a blue poly tarp.
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